in behind them and the boys came backrnand began giving us directions to the ruin,rnbut their Enghsh was so bad thatrnGeorge asked them to jump in the bed ofrnthe truck. They chmbed up and hungrnon tight over the rough canted road, andrnat last the one on the left side yelledrn”Stop!” through the driver’s window.rnFrom here, they made us understand, wernwould have to walk. They were vaguernabout the direction, and finallv Georgerntold them to get up in the truck againrnand drove them out to the highway,rnwhere he made an impression by givingrnthem six dollars. “They’re going back tornthe store to buy their little honey a pop,”rnGeorge said as we watched the car disappearrninto a curve. “There’s no muttongutrnon that hidian, that’s for damn sure.rnEh, Dude?”rnAt the trailhead George locked therntruck. We slipped water bottles into therndav packs and v’alked to the edge of thernreticulated maze of slickrock canyon.rnThe view was a panoramic 180 degreesrnfrom White Mesa low on the southwestrnhorizon to the Vermilion Gliffs in thernnorthwest: a maze of deeply carved purple,rnred, and orange rock that appearedrnfrom the surface plateau as a vast, slightlyrnrolling forest of juniper and piiion pinernstretching like a blue mat to the edge ofrnthe world where the late afternoon sun,rnan incandescent ball, rested. Georgernlooked at his watch. “Let’s go for it,” hernsaid, and nodded at Shane. “We canrncount on our genu-wine Indian guide tornget us back to the truck before dark.”rnThe genu-wme Indian guide went leapingrnahead of us over the rocks like arnmountain goat. For an instant he stoodrnpoised in silhouette on the hump of arnpetrified sand dune, before he was gone.rnGeorge called out to him but did not recei’rne an answer. No discernible trail wasrnin sight and we walked about for a whilernamong the hummocks of red dust grownrnthinly with grass, prickly pear, and Mormonrntea, searching for a way down.rnFrom the farther reaches of the park anrnowl called and was answered bv another.rnThe opposite wall of the canyon was a sequencernof hanging gardens set in tiers:rnterraces of pinon, juniper, and wildflowers.rn”I’ll have a bad time explaining atrnhome if I lose Shane,” George said. “Hernisn’t lost,” I told him; “he’s an Indian.”rn”Well, if we can’t get off this cliff I guessrnhe can’t either.” We walked on and discoveredrna row of cairns that marked arntrail descending to the floor of a secondaryrncanyon, but saw no ruins there.rnCutting across a peninsula of rock werncame to a collapsing hogan built of pinernlogs, and beyond it a clearly defined footpath.rnWe followed the path and werernhailed after a hundred yards b the voicernof Shane, who sat on an ele’ation ofrnrock with his legs stretched out, pressingrnhis hands between his knees. At risk ofrnlosing his clients, the genu-winc Indianrnguide had picked up the trail before hernwas five minutes from the truck.rnThe trail down was blocked by a balk)rnyvhiteface cow who stood chewing therncud before turning reluctantly and trottingrnon ahead of us, her bag swinging. Arnhogan with its brush corral stood in tallrngrass at the head of the canyon beneathrnancient cottonwoods that boiled slowlyrnon a breeze easing between the livid rockrnwalls against which the foliage showedrnan amazing green. Navajo Greek in thisrnseason of the vear was several inches ofrnbrackish water idling between loosernbanks 15 and 20 feet tall on its way tornrendezvous with the Colorado River atrnGlen Canyon, 60 or 70 miles distant byrnline of sight. The trail followed throughrnhigh sagebrush above the creek, allowingrnus a forced march across the sand beneathrnCottonwood groves piling likernemerald thunderheads into the starkrnblue sky that made a perfeedy fitted roofrnover Navajo Canyon. Side canons ran inrnfrom left and right; we found horses, arnmule, and a donkey in the mouth of onernof these, but no ruins. Shane left on arntangent to investigate the condition ofrnthese lonely specimens of “those thatrnmen live by,” and caught up with us tornreport that they looked well fed and inrngood health. Evening was near; we hadrnjust agreed to turn back at the nextrncanyon when George and I saw it simultaneously:rna line of fitted wall a hundredrnor more feet above the canyon floor, unmistakablyrnthe work of human handsrnthough isolated in a wilderness of desertrnrock. We moed forward again at an increasedrnpace in the lengthening shadesrnof the great cottonwoods. The trail ledrnsteeply down into the creek and up thernfar bank to the base of a tall red cliff,rnwhere it clung precariously for anotherrnhundred yards before deadheading at arnholed chickenwire fence with a signrnhung on it that said “Keep Out.” Wernsqueezed through the largest hole,rnclimbed up 50 or 40 feet hand overrnhand, and stood panting on the floor ofrnone of those spectral villages with whichrnthe Spanish explorers had almost norncontact and that were hardly known byrnyvhitc men until the Macom Expeditionrnof 1859 and those of John Wesley Powellrnin 1869 and 1871 reported seeing strangernrock structures built b’ human beings inrnhumanly inaccessible places. Probablyrnthe majority of these with their trovesrnof relics arc undiscovered to this day.rnThe painted pictographs and the petroglyphsrntapped or scraped into the desertrnvarnish on remote canyon walls are undomesticatedrnghosts: to you and onlyrnyou, perhaps, they make their first—andrnpossibly last—apparition.rnCarbon from ancient smokes blackenedrnthe ceiling of the cave in patchesrnwhere the rock surface had not flakedrnwith time, and on the walls above thernloyy simple buildings white prints left byrnshy hands gave mute greeting across therncenturies. To the left of the sequence ofrnfootholds cut into the rock and just withinrnthe overhang, Shane discovered twornpotholes that George guessed mightrnhave served as the water source for thernpueblo. We crossed the circle of flatrnrock, in which pestholes had been carefulhrncut, that was the floor of the kivarnand walked the narrow space betweenrnthe housefronts and the rocky lip above arnpotsherd accumulation of ancientlyflungrnhouseware. The houses themselvesrnwere built of adobe brick reinforcedrnby sticks of brush and roofed withrnthicker sticks supported by poles. Irnpicked up one of the loose bricks to examinernit. Although that brick had beenrnbaked around the time that Dante wasrnwriting The Divine Comedy, the grassrnused in its construction looked no olderrnthan last year’s straw. Around the housesrnand inside them tiny corncobs layrnscattered, harvested seven or eight centuriesrnbefore by the Basketmakcrs, as thernAnasazi are also called: sophisticatedrnagriculturalists for their day, as well asrnaccomplished masons and designers.rn”Let’s go now,” Shane suggested. “Irndon’t want to be haunted.”rnWe reached the truck at dark and satrnon the tailgate to drink the last of the waterrnand watch Venus arise in the palernecliptic of the vanished sun. “Are yourngoing out with the sheep in the morning?”rnGeorge asked. “Not if I can helprnit,” Shane said. “I suppose you’re goingrnto need a ceremony to purify you ofrnwhere }Ou’ve been toda}’.” “I don’t needrnno ceremony.” Shane’s voice in therndarkness was scornful. “Why don’trnyou?” “Because I’m modern,” Shanernanswered serenely.rn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn